1. How to modify a yoga posture? 2. Is oneness the same as non-duality (Advaita Philosophy)?
Modifying A Yoga Posture
There are many ways to modify a posture that you may find challenging. By listening to your body, you can try different ways, including using the props, and see what works for you. Whatever method you use, be careful not to distort the balance and alignment on both sides of the body.
The three main reasons for not being able to do a posture are; 1) lack of flexibility, 2) lack of strength and 3) natural structure of your skeleton. One or more of the above reasons can limit your range of motion. In any posture that is difficult for you, don’t try to go into the full range of the movements needed to do the posture; otherwise, you will distort the posture and cause misalignment and imbalance in the body.
An easy and simple way to do a challenging posture is to reduce the range of movement. Go into the posture only as far as you can go comfortably without distorting it. Hold it there for 15-20 seconds while paying attention to the correctness of the posture, and then try to go a little further. Slowly and gradually increase the range of movements. Do many repetitions of the same movement and gradually increase the holding time.
Break down a posture into various steps and then practice step-by-step. Instead of feeling frustrated for not being able to do the posture, feel good for doing even one or two steps. This will encourage you to take the next step.
It is important that you learn to do the simple postures correctly first and increase their holding time to 30-60 seconds. This can be very helpful in advancing your asana practice.
If you can’t do certain postures, don’t worry about it. There are many more that you can do. Take the struggle out of your practices. Make your best effort but without struggling. Add some easiness, fun, and joy to your practice.
“Sthira sukham asanam.” Sage Patanjali.
Add stability and joy to your practice.
Oneness and Non-duality
Creation is not an illusion.
It is a view of God.
By honoring the Seeable,
I experience the Unseeable.
Dear Krishanji. Isn’t the oneness you talk about the same as the Advaita (Non-duality) Philosophy?
Life doesn’t have a specific definition. Your experiences define your life. Similarly, the Truth can’t be defined in one way. Within one absolute Truth lie innumerable other truths. That’s why there are so many religions, sects, Gurus, philosophers, scriptures, etc.
The Advaita philosophy is primarily based on two principles; 1) This creation is transit and illusory, and 2) All is Consciousness ( Brahman), and you and I are nothing but Consciousness.
The oneness that I talk about is not a philosophy. It is a responsible and holy way of living. It comes from my personal experiences. It started with my experience of oneness with Guru Nanak Dev over 40 years ago, a story that I have shared before. Over time, it has blossomed into a simple, meaningful, and sacred way of living.
My oneness sees the creation as real. For me, you are not an illusion; you are an actual divine being. It is easier for me to love and honor you when I see you as real. If I see life as an illusion, it raises many questions; the answers and explanations don’t satisfy me.
I have the highest regard for Advaita philosophy, but my experiences have led me to the truth that all that is is real. My relationships are real. My pains & pleasures, successes & failures, and anger & greed are real. My yogic wisdom is real. My whole being and past & present are real. All are undoubtedly transient and temporary, but they are real. I must gather courage and wisdom to serve the reality.
When you say that God exists in every particle and also say that every particle is an illusion, this contradiction becomes difficult to understand, and that’s why there are so many books that try to explain it.
In my oneness, all is God, and all are real. There are no contradictions. Lord Krishna says,” I am the Sun. I am the Moon. I am the sacred fire. I am everything.” In my oneness, I don’t see Sun and Moon as an illusion. I see them as Krishna. So simple!
My oneness is the practice of taking full responsibility for your whole being and honoring it. It’s the practice of peeling off the layers of concepts and judgments that limit your vision. It’s the practice of seeing the creation as real and honoring it by taking care of it. It’s the practice of not trying to understand the creation and Creator but to be with them in oneness. This oneness is not a concept; it is an attainable goal. You will never know God but in oneness, you can be with Him.
This song of oneness vibrates in my being and is the heart of all my courses. It’s a gift to me from my Gurus!